I remember a hole in my stomach when I heard he had passed away.
A real legend.
And when I say legend that’s not a lie because…
Have you ever wrestled Santa to the ground trying to stop him from delivering presents?
Well Fred did.
But Santa managed to escape Fred grip.
And Santa was so scared that he ran away and scurried over the front yard barbed wire farm fence.
Don’t believe me?
Well Fred showed us the fence and the red cloth from Santas red torn off pants dangling on the barbs.
Infact, as a kid we learned that Fred was no ordinary man.
He was quite extraordinary.
He could see hoppers jumping on the cheese.
He would tell us they were hiding in the cheese.
‘Can’t you see the Cheesehoppers?’
And I’m pretty sure both my sisters said they could see them cheesehopper and shouted out at finding them.
But I was the biggest sceptic out of everyone.
I become a cheesehopper investigator.
I remember leaving a slice of cheese on a plate on the table just for days.
Hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Cheese hoppers.
I was convinced until one day.
My Mum bought some fancy cheese. It had holes in it.
When Fred came to visit he pointed out the reason for the holes.
It was clear evidence of the Cheese hopper’s existence.
So when I heard of the sudden fred passing, as an adult I felt a sudden death of something special in my life.
The death of a true storyteller.
And I remember slipping into like a day dream.
And it was as if I was talking to him again.
And him saying in a deep voice.
“So what’s the story, Mark?”
Which he would almost always start the conversation.
And I would say.
They would ask questions about Blackcaps cricketing performances. Other times say something about some news. Many times it would be about how good the fishing is and where the fish are biting and in which bay.
And he always had something to say about so many things.
And yes often his fishing stories had me packing up my fishing gear heading out to that spot he mentioned in his story.
And as kids Fred filled my imagination and it ran wild.
And as an adult he would be my advisor. Telling me whats good and whats not.
Always with stories.
And he taught to always be learning and telling.
He taught me the power of a good story.
Here’s the thing with storytelling…
Everyone is a master storyteller. We all have things to tell.
And when it comes to business you are often only stories away from doing business with someone else.
I know it’s kind of a bizarre thing to say.
But the things that we say about other or others say about us are often stories.
And stories inspire us.
I remember when I first started helping people with their businesses marketing.
I wasn’t that good at it.
But I was expecting a flood of people to come streaming in through my office door wanting my services.
That didn’t happen.
I remember thinking man I suck. I need to learn more.
So I found someone who knew the things I needed to know.
I actually worked for free for 5 weeks as an apprentice.
On the condition was I get trained for 2 weeks and then work for 3 weeks to see if I was good enough.
Thankful I was good enough and got the job.
It was the start of my journey to online marketing.
A few years later, when I became a freelancer.
I had to start all over again.
No clients. No work.
I actually got stuck for a while.
I remember having no one around me who I could talk to about successfully running a marketing business or any kind of business.
I was hungry for any advice.
I remember someone saying that business is simple.
That it’s just a numbers game are right.
You get infront of lots of people. And someone will want you.
I remember being highly motivated by this newly discovered fact.
So I worked on getting infront of other people.
I got kind of good at it actually.
But I wasn’t doing much good at selling my services though.
But I managed to get a few sales.
That got me started.
And those sales became stories.
I would keep getting infront of other people sharing stories with others that helped.
And I noticed.
The more stories I shared with others.
The more sales I made.
And of course, I was extremely unconscious of all of this.
Until one day I stopped sharing. And things just kind of stopped.
It was only then I realized how important sharing and telling stories is to life and business.
So what’s the story?
Are you sharing stories with others? Stories that can help and inspire others?
Are you sharing business stories that can help others?
Well maybe you should be. It’s kind of magic. And it feels good.